Christen ~ Words With Friends: Ange and Charlie

Only ten days until we leave.

My full-time job is making it difficult to get in any real hiking, other than a couple of short, barely elevated, trails. It has been established that I am, woefully, physically under prepared for this trip. Sitting in my office, staring out the window, I am starting to feel the pressure of the challenge ahead of me. There is the knowing I need to be out practicing hiking, and the knowing I cannot get out of work long enough to be doing it, that is making these last ten days before we go feel like they are squeezing in on me. It is coming quickly.

It really makes you appreciate your friends. Two in particular, Ange and Charlie, dear friends that are very different from each other and from very different parts of my life, have something very specific in common. They are two friends that will not hold back their thoughts when they do not approve of something I am doing. It is a quality that I value highly in each of them. (Granted, I rarely tell anyone what I am doing until I have already decided I am going to do it, so their welcome commentary is usually too late to change my course, but welcomed nonetheless.)

Christen and Ange - Words With Friends

Ange (whose talented work in advertising you can see here: – in particular, I love her Cosmopolitan Las Vegas ads), has always had a way with words. When she took the time to write this the other day, it was the couple deep breaths that I needed to find my zen again, while sitting in my office, and it reenforced my knowing that we will still, somehow, make all of this work. Thank you for this, Ange. I love you.

“one of my oldest + dearest friends (we call each other CLF “common-law friends” after 31 yrs of friendship) Christen, is taking part in a documentary which will take her on a 16.5k ft trek up a mountain in Nepal. UP. A. MOUNTAIN. beautiful, wicked smart, wily and witty CLF isn’t your typical ‘trekker’ to say the least. she smokes. keeps really really odd hours. doesn’t really ‘do’ nature. doesn’t exercise unless you call dancing around & running to tackle hug someone exercise. and is one of the most stubborn and brave humans I know. she has made a life of ‘taking her own path’. she’s lived all over europe + the states and isn’t one to shy away from adventure. she’s fearless. and rarely gives decisions like this a second thought. for that I am all at once deeply proud, befuddled but not surprised, worried as hell, highly entertained, and, as I’ve always been, full of mad love and support for her and inspired by her next adventure.

BONUS! christen was brought into this adventure via fellow awesome kindergarten alum, Luke, who is taking the helm as director and producer. one south dakotan is a force. two is a formidable team that will protect, persevere and do justice to a truly incredible undertaking. luke, take care of christen. christen, listen to the voice in your head (I’ll do the same, as promised).

perhaps most importantly, the film’s premise is truly moving and makes me want to dig out and dust off my hiking books, buy a 12 pack of inhalers and book a ticket to join them. see more here (and support the film if you’re so inclined)”



Charlie is my good dude friend from when I lived in Florence. He has said to me, many times, “I am harder on you than anyone else in my life.” He has no problem stopping me in the middle of a story to tell me, “This interests me very little, Christen.” He never pulls punches when calling me out on what he perceives to be my shenanigans (which, for him, include most things I do).

Charlie called to find out about the film project and, since Luke was there, he filmed the call.

Christen’s Call with Charlie from Luke Mislinski on Vimeo.

Thank goodness for friends who take a few minutes to bring me back to the moment at hand.

I have yet to doubt whether I should be going on this journey. I know the going is right. That answer came to me quickly when I was asked to go. And, although, I do have my moments where I wonder just how over my head it will be, which is distracting, all I can do is focus on today and this moment. For now, I just need to finish what is in front of me. I will worry about getting up the mountain when I am getting up the mountain.





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